Los Angeles Soccer: Sebastian Grazzini

CHIVAS USA: Goats drop fourth in a row

September, 17, 2011
Chivas USA's fading playoff hopes aren't officially dead yet, but give it just a little more time.

The Goats' disastrous stretch of late season hit a new low point Saturday, when they battled back from another horrid start only to lose at the finish, a 3-2 decision at Chicago that extended their season-worst losing (four games) and winless (six) streaks.

“It’s time to look at ourselves and be honest about what we need to do to be better ...,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “We as a group just have to accept that these things aren’t good enough, these mistakes aren’t good enough, and they’ve been too consistent. If we do want to get into the playoffs -- if we have any hope of getting into the playoffs -- we really, really need to be sharper, more focused all over the field for 90 minutes.

The Fire (5-8-15) went ahead through Cory Gibbs' header in the second minute, made it 2-0 on a Juan Pablo Angel own goal in the 25th, then pulled out the victory when Dominic Oduro finished Patrick Nyarko's feed in the 85th.

Gibbs got above Michael Umaņa to nod home the first, and the second arrived when Pavel Pardo's free kick glanced off Zarek Valentin, hit Angel between his shoulder and his head and flew past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

Oduro's winner, which Chivas initally argued was offside -- Valentin kept Oduro onside -- followed a penetrating pass from Diego Chaves, who fended off Alejandro Moreno and Umaņa to find Nyarko.

Chivas (7-12-10), which held a man advantage after Gibbs was red-carded for a rough challenge on Michael Lahoud in the 37th minute, rallied on second-half goals two minutes apart by Angel -- his second since arriving last month from the Galaxy -- and Nick LaBrocca.

The Goats, employing an attacking lineup, controlled the game's tempo but not the game, a recurring theme this season. They completed more than twice as many passes as did the Fire (553-266) and possessed the ball for 67.6 percent of the game. If only those figures counted more than the score.

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